Let’s go with another list, only this one is not so much about my train-wrecks in the dating world as it is about what to not do at your wedding.
Of all the weddings I have been to, at least one or two things have been done that made just about everyone in the room gossip the day after. From a bride who got so wasted she couldn’t walk, to a groom complaining loudly about the gifts they got – there have always been a number of faux pas when it comes to weddings. And this should come as no surprise with the number of wedding etiquette books and websites that are out today. Updated every year, these etiquette manuals are made to ensure that you don’t leave your wedding with less family and friends talking to you than you went in.
Now I don’t necessarily agree with a lot of the things listed in those etiquette books, most importantly because they seem to lack the understanding that in a crippling economy, money actually is an issue. So with that in mind, I have come up with my own etiquette, which is as simple as the four things not to do at your wedding. Avoid these and you should be golden.
#1 Don’t complain about your gifts, either before or after your wedding. This goes beyond weddings to babies, birthdays, etc. When someone goes out of their way to bring you a gift, even if it is a meager one, you should be grateful they sacrificed their time and money to show you that kindness. I have been to a lot of weddings where people did not bring gifts and the bride was complaining about the disparity between gifts on the table and guests in the reception hall. And I’ve seen people complain on their Facebook pages about the gifts they received – all of which is completely inexcusable if you want to keep friends. If you don’t like a gift, be considerate and return it quietly. And whether you like the gifts or not, always send a ‘thank you’ via the mail. Not sending a ‘thank you’ for any type of major gift (be it bridal, wedding, baby, anniversary) is a sure way to lose friends.
#2 Don’t change into slippers once the reception begins. This may seem petty, and while you are the bride/groom and you should be having a good time, it is in very poor taste. For one, you’ll ruin the pictures. For two, you’ll set the standard for your guests to strip off or change other articles of clothing of their own choosing, and as fellow attendees I can say with certainty that we don’t want to see that. Rather than changing shoes, do something different like wear comfortable, yet stylish shoes from the get-go. I’ve been to weddings where comfortable, wedding flip-flops were worn; wear stylish, matching tennis shoes were on the entire bridal party. You don’t have to go ten miles down the road to Tackyville to be comfortable.
#3 Don’t give us updates about your pregnancy. I know, I know – having a baby is a blessed occasion, and you shouldn’t hide anything. But, really, you should. I’m not arguing that anyone should be ashamed about being pregnant before getting married – it’s the 21st century and a lot of people do it. And props to those that see it as the opportunity to “do the right thing” for the baby. But when you announce updates (“Thank you everyone for coming, and we wanted to let you know we just found out – it’s a girl!”), you invariably subject us to Aunt Beatrice and Grandma Flo’s gossipy conversation about how the bride shouldn’t have worn white, and the groom had better start looking into management positions to feed the baby. I went to one wedding quite a few years ago and did not even know the bride was pregnant until she announced the sex of the baby during the toasts, and was then subjected to two hours of my date’s mother telling me all the details of just how the groom’s vasectomy didn’t stick. Thank you, I’ll pass.
#4 (And this one particularly applies to those that also fall under #3), don’t get CRUNK. That’s right, I said it. Don’t get so crazy drunk that you can’t walk or speak clearly. You see that crazy chick in the photo above? I bet she’s regretting allowing a beer bong at her wedding reception now, wouldn’t you? Not only will being a complete drunk at your own wedding ensure family gossip for years to come, but you’ll ruin the pictures and garner a reputation. A wedding I attended last year was so out of hand with the drunkenness that we actually left before a full on group orgy broke out. As it turned out, the debauchery didn’t really start until the after party, but it was only because of the drunken displays at the reception, itself, that I had to end up being told about it. Twenty years from now, you don’t want your kids to look at your wedding album and see you falling over your dress with champagne spilled all over you. Trust me, you don’t. We all know the planning process has been a stressful one, but just save the heavy drinking for the honeymoon (even if that ends up being one night at the Motel 6 down the street from your apartment).
It would seem that these things would be common sense, and yet every wedding I attend has some semblance of at least a few of them. No matter how many weddings you have been to, when your big day comes I know you will be tempted to do one of these horribly tasteless, unbelievably obnoxious things. Just remember what it was like to be a guest at that one wedding when the bride fell over after too many whiskey sours and showed her panties to the entire crowd. You don’t want to be her, now do you?